Photo credits: Naumova Ekaterina, also Ewa Studio
He’s a first-rate genius, inventor and engineer, philanthropist, and CEO billionaire. And did I mention he’s the superhero in the flashy Iron Man suit? With his skills and world-wide fame, what lessons can we learn from Tony Stark on how to achieve top levels of success?
Yes, he’s not someone you can meet in real life, but dreams are built on solid beliefs and determination. It’s our dreams that motivate us to do what we believed was impossible, whether it’s to start our dream career, marry our soulmate, or, in Tony’s case, save the world.
You see, since I was a little kid, I was always very fascinated by superheroes. As a young child I would watch Batman with my dad, and I didn’t know anything about the Avengers, or Iron Man or Tony Stark.
I remember the first time I watched Iron Man. Oh my goodness. It was love at first sight. I fell in love with the witty character of Tony Stark. Although he could fly like Superman, he didn’t have superpowers like super strength, but he is smart.
He’s got brains and a knack for getting himself out of sticky situations. So, today we’re going to talk about nine of his top rules for success, starting with believing in yourself. As fans of his know, his cup of confidence is always overflowing.
1.Be Your Biggest Fan
Now, if you watch any of the Iron Man movies or the Avengers movies, you’ll see Tony is always very sure of himself. Even when Captain America challenges him. He might not have the superpowers of his other Marvel pals, but he knows what he is good at and he’s proud of it.
See, very often, in life we don’t do what we know we’re supposed to do because of a lack of confidence, or lack of self-esteem. We don’t believe if something will work and often we question if it fails.
That lack of certainty is from lack of self esteem. But self-esteem is the foundation of all success, and if you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?
Just imagine if you just do what you know you’re supposed to do, if you believe in yourself, truly believe in yourself and be your own biggest fan. How much further would you be in life? How much more successful would you be?
2. Be Determined
Confidence comes from competence. One of the reasons why Tony is so confident about himself is because he’s got the skill set and the mindset. He knows what he’s capable of.
It’s not because of fancy equipment or his high tech lab but because of his ingenuity that Tony excels. He built his first suit in a cave with limited tools because of his ability and innovation.
So, if you lack confidence, ask yourself, how much time have you spent on developing that skillset, honing your craft, improving yourself? When you are good at something, naturally, you’ll be more confident.
Ask yourself, in certain areas in your life, which areas do you need to work on? Where do you want to develop more confidence?
When you’re more confident, you’ll be more determined, as well.
3. Communicate Confidently
What holds most people back is lack of confidence, but also lack of communication skills.
You see, Tony is a phenomenal communicator. He is very charismatic, and communicates effectively, even to a crowd of reporters immediately after he returns from capture. He also gives an eloquent speech to thousands at the Stark Expo.
I think nowadays, because of social media, because now we’re working remotely from laptops and phones, very often, even young people, don’t know how to talk to people anymore. They only know how to communicate through texting.
But how do you express yourself confidently, one-on-one, on the phone, or to a camera? See, those skills would have more impact on your career, your life, and your income. Way more impact than you think.
So you want to be more confident in life, in whatever you do, work on your communication skills.
4. Make Sacrifices For The Thing You Love
Very often, you see people that talk about all the things they want, and they have these goals, like wanting to be more successful, but they’re not willing to make sacrifices.
Tony reveals his vulnerability when he tells Pepper Potts, his personal assistant, that his love for her and desire to protect her is what motivates him because she’s the one thing that he “can’t live without.” That’s why he works, late at night, instead of sleeping or relaxing when their lives are threatened.
If you love someone or something (like a cause), you will give up your time or whatever you need to reach your goal. You see, I sacrifice a lot for what I do. There’s always a price to pay for action. If you want something, you have to give something.
What are you willing to give? What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?
If you want to make $40,000 a year, spend time with your family, have that work-life balance, that’s perfectly fine. That’s a good life. But if you want to make a million dollars a year, well, let me tell you this, there’s no such thing as work-life balance.
You have to be willing to sacrifice. Now, I’m not saying that you have to be a workaholic. What I am saying is in order to build your career, to build your business and take it and your life to the next level, there’s a trade-off.
You cannot spend three to four hours a day playing video games, and desire to be more successful. It doesn’t work that way, unless you’re a professional gamer.
You need to make sacrifices and say, this is the price that you’re willing to pay for success, for the things you want, to be able to provide for your family. So, ask yourself what you are willing to give up?
What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?
5. Sometimes You Have To Run Before You Can Walk
I love this quote from Iron Man. “Run before you walk.” Tony says this when he’s testing his very first Iron Man suit.
Conventional wisdom says, walk before you run, right? You always have that step-by-step process. You need to climb that ladder rung by rung. Things have to be done in a very sequential manner.
But what I’ve noticed is that success is messy. Sometimes you don’t necessarily do things sequentially. You might have to do things simultaneously. You’re putting out fires, you’re solving problems.
You’re doing a lot of different things and sometimes to get what you want, you have to act as if there’s no limit to your abilities, no ceiling, or restrictions. You can’t be thinking that once you learn how to do something, then you’ll do it.
Let me ask you a question, because what holds most people back is what they aren’t able to do. When I hear that, I always ask them, does that mean you don’t know how to do it or you don’t want to do it?
You all have the ability to do things, it’s just a question of, do you want it bad enough? Are you willing to learn it? And are you willing to do what it takes to get it?
Sometimes, you may not be ready. But you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.
6. Make Sure You Know Who You Are Before You Take On Something Big
There’s a saying, it’s the man that makes the suit, the suit doesn’t make the man. You have to be the man first, then you wear that suit.
Tony advises a young Spiderman to be a stronger person first, because Peter’s Spiderman suit isn’t really what does or doesn’t make him a superhero. Peter is what does or doesn’t make Spiderman a superhero.
In business, it’s the same. It’s not just the environment, and it’s not just the things you have, at the end of the day, it’s you depending on yourself. For me, it’s not money that makes me successful, I’m successful because of my skillsets and my mindset.
Money is a byproduct of value creation. How much value you deliver to the marketplace, and how many problems you solve for people, how much impact that you make to the world in exchange for value or for money is all that it is.
It’s not about thinking that once you have the money, then you will be successful. It’s the other way around.
7. Know What Your End Goal Is With Your Work
You know how sometimes you’re very, very busy, trying to do a lot of different things to the point that you’re not so sure what exactly you’re trying to accomplish?
Well, Tony has a frank discussion with Obadiah Stane about what products Stark Industries is manufacturing, and is appalled at the number of destructive weapons produced by the company associated with his name.
You see, busyness is also a form of laziness. Sometimes people get busy for no reason at all, not knowing exactly what they are trying to create. What is the outcome that they want?
Stark’s company is busy producing but Tony suddenly realized he needs to think about what’s going on – whether they should be making destructive products.
It’s always very helpful to know the end goal first so you can reverse engineer it and ask yourself questions. It’s more than just figuring out what you need to do. Don’t just tackle a long to-do list, without asking yourself why you’re even doing it at all.
Does the list produce results? Do these tasks fit into your overall vision?
8. Embrace Your True Self
Fans of Iron Man remember that intense moment when Tony Stark finally confesses that he is Iron Man in front of dozens of journalists and cameras.
Embrace your true self. When you’re on social media, when you’re trying to build a personal brand, I truly believe one of the most important things that you have to do is be your authentic self.
Maybe you’re a little quirky, maybe you speak with an accent, but your message, your story will resonate with people when you are truly authentic. I always say, I’d rather be hated for who I am, than to be loved that who I am not.
9. Stick To Your Gut
I think your intuition, your gut instinct, is one of the most powerful tools that we have as human beings, but through time because of wrong decisions and sometimes experience we don’t trust our own gut instinct anymore.
When Tony felt that something was wrong, he brought up his suspicions with the Avengers although they didn’t all agree with each other. He wasn’t afraid to go against what others were thinking.
It’s the same in life and business. Sometimes when you meet someone and you’re like, hm, everything else sounds okay, but your gut instinct is telling you that maybe you can’t trust this person or work with this person.
Or very often, I noticed in at least my career, when I ignore my gut instinct, it never turns out very well. I think my intuition is 90% accurate, and my wife, Jennie’s intuition is probably 99% accurate.
So there you go, Tony Stark’s top nine rules for success.
Final Thoughts On Tony Stark’s Top 9 Rules For Success
Before Tony Stark became the superhero in the Iron Man suit, he already had confidence, ingenuity, and engineering skills. He already knew who he was before he put on the suit. Having that identity is important.
When you have confidence, when you are determined, you can work on your goals and face new challenges by running before you’re walking. And because he was clear on his end goal, he was able to make sacrifices to get there.
Most importantly, embrace who you really are and be genuine about it without worrying what other people think.
Which rule for success resonated with you the most? Comment below.